Assessing the risks associated with internal erosion phenomena in aging embankment dams: a New Zealand perspective

2016-08-18 13.57.35Earth embankment dams form a vital part of New Zealand’s hydropower, agricultural, and water supply infrastructure. The challenges faced in the management of aging embankment dams are compounded by factors specific to New Zealand, including large variability in soil types and the highly tectonic environment in which the dams are located. Internal erosion, triggered by both seismic and non-seismic events, is considered one of the primary risks to New Zealand embankment dams. This study considers the applicability of existing empirical methods to assess the potential for internal erosion and highlights significant shortcomings in the applicability of existing screening methods used to assess the potential for internal erosion in New Zealand soils.

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